The federal and provincial governments announced an agreement Friday morning that aims to have child care in Saskatchewan cost an average of $10 a day per child for children under the age of six by the end of 2025-26.
By the end of 2022, Saskatchewan families could see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children under age six in regulated child care, the province said in a news release.
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life,” said Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister of families, children and social development.
“Today’s historic agreement with Saskatchewan is another important step on the path to ensuring all families have access to high-quality, affordable, and inclusive child care.”
The almost $1.1 billion in federal funding over the next five years is also expected to create 28,000 new regulated early learning and child-care spaces in Saskatchewan for children under six years old. This includes expanding non-profit child-care centres, small child-care facilities and home-based child care.
The agreement is also expected to support early childhood educators in Saskatchewan with their studies, providing them with “professional development opportunities.”
“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to investing in affordable, accessible and quality early learning and child care options that provide flexibility and choice to Saskatchewan families,” said Dustin Duncan, the province’s minister of education.
“We are pleased that this deal creates 28,000 new regulated spaces, makes life more affordable for Saskatchewan families and enhances the wages of Early Childhood Educators who support children across our province.”
The Canadian and Saskatchewan governments have also agreed to extend the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which allocates $68.5 million in federal funds over the next four years to increase access to affordable and inclusive child care. The province said more than $17 million will be set aside this fiscal year to support the early childhood workforce.